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An excellent article published earlier this month in the Oakland Press newspaper highlights the crucial impact that assistive technology has upon those who are older and feeling the effects of aging.

As we age, we will inevitably experience the negative effects like loss of sight and mobility. These symptoms of aging can reduce someone's quality of life, especially if they are unable to work or if they live away from close friends and family members.

The good news is that there is a growing arsenal of assistive devices and technologies that can make a huge difference for older people. 'Assistive technology' is a large category that include everything from hearing aids and grab bars to wheelchair lifts and dictation software.

Identifying the Problem & Getting Help

The gradual nature of many signs of aging causes us to ignore them, or perhaps even not realize they are occurring.  Ignoring or hiding issues doesn’t do any good and may be detrimental to health or quality of life.

The first step is identifying challenges and getting connected to the right people who can help. A company like ours, Northwest Ergonomics and Wellness, can help families and employers find the right resources and training to address their needs. We specialize in assistive solutions to keep people working and happily computing.

Lots of Solutions Available

The majority of workplace solutions that we are called upon to implement have to do with overcoming physical challenges to work on computers. One of our most frequently requested services is the implementation and training of Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software which can open up new worlds to those who are struggling to use their computer due to movement or sight issues.

There is also a plethora of other devices available that allow feet and your voice to trigger actions that are traditionally done with the hands.

Help for People of All Ages

These technological leaps have benefited people of all ages, not just the elderly. There are people of all ages who struggle with movement due to diagnoses like cerebral palsy and Parkinson's Disease.  Some people have experienced repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel problems.

The goal is to make the home and workspace as safe and user-friendly as safe as possible by incorporating devices thoughtfully as needed. This is best achieved when decisions are made as soon as possible and not while in crisis mode.

The Importance of Your Attitude

Change is difficult and accepting that your body is changing can be sad and frustrating.   We have found that our clients who thrive the most are the ones who stay as positive as possible about adopting new tools and processes.  Having a caring consultant like our assistive technology specialists can make a huge difference in the attitude of someone who is adjusting to new routines.

Contact Us for Help

Contact Northwest Ergonomics & Wellness if you are experiencing a loss of movement, hearing, sight, or any other disability that technology may be able to assuage. You won't know what is possible until you contact the experts. We have a dedicated team of assistive technology specialists who really care about our clients and go the extra mile to find them solutions to keep them productive and happy. You can fill out a form on the contact page, or call us at 206-707-8380.

A recent article on the Med-Tech News site highlights some reasons why the need for assistive technology has never been greater.

For one thing, assistive technology allows people to be more functional while remaining social distanced.  As we adopt a new set of protocols around reducing the transmission of COVID-19, assistive technologies allow the elderly, who are the most vulnerable, to function more effectively on their own and therefore provides a great benefit.

During COVID-19 we’ve seen more health and social care providers investing in assistive technology, and improving the link between those at home and third party stakeholders such as clinicians and caregivers.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to a huge investment in technology enabled care (TEC) to both address and support current and future healthcare challenges. Service providers are reaping the obvious safety benefits that telecare and telehealth provide.

The ability of technology to provide 24-hour support and trigger an emergency response is also crucial, and the global health crisis has led to assistive technologies being more widely deployed. Many service providers have invested in TEC to move towards a more person-centered and remote style of care delivery as a result of COVID-19.

 

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